Auburn closes with signing day pledge from 4-star end
The Auburn Tigers, who already have a new quarterback contender on campus, appeared to shore up other key positions of need in a Top-10 recruiting class.
Trying to replace defensive linemen Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams, coach Gus Malzahn landed a big signing day pledge Wednesday from four-star end Markaviest Bryant. QB Jarrett Stidham is among the mid-year enrollees available to go through spring practice.
The 23-player class had 11 players on offense and 10 on defense, plus a kicker and long snapper. That includes four defensive backs and three linemen on both sides of the ball, led by five-star offensive tackle prospect Calvin Ashley.
''It's a very well-rounded class,'' Malzahn said. ''There wasn't a whole lot of drama (Wednesday). I think that says a lot about the signees' loyalty. Everything went pretty much as planned, which is a blessing.''
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: Yes.
Best in class: Stidham of Stephenville, Texas; Ashley of Washington, D.C. Malzahn said Ashley reminds him of former star left tackle Greg Robinson, a No. 2 overall NFL draft pick, at this stage in his career.
Best of the rest: LB T.D. Moultry, Birmingham, Alabama; RB Devan Barrett, Tampa, Florida. Malzahn said Barrett was the top running back on Auburn's recruiting board from the outset. He joins Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson in the backfield. Moultry was one of 10 signees from in-state and brings another pass rusher into the fold.
Late addition: Bryant, Cordele, Georgia; ATH JaTarvious Whitlow, LaFayette, Alabama. Bryant is the cousin of outgoing Auburn defensive tackle Adams and has been a longtime target for the Tigers. ''He is a pass rushing machine,'' Malzahn said. ''He's an Auburn-type kid with a great family and great support system.''
One that got away: DE Ryan Johnson chose Stanford.
How they'll fit in: Stidham, a junior college transfer and former Baylor starter, is the biggest pickup. He should battle incumbent starter Sean White under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey. ''I think he's got a chance to be a very good football player,'' Malzahn said. ''He's coming in to compete for the starting job.'' Auburn also signed the heir apparent to All-America placekicker Daniel Carlson once he's gone - little brother Anders Carlson
For the full list: http://www.auburntigers.com/
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .